Cheetahs – The New Luxury Pet in the Middle East

Owning cheetahs - a status symbol in the Middle East

Owning a cheetah has become a status symbol in the Middle East, according to the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), who warns their popularity as a “hot new luxury pet” is putting wild cheetah populations at greater risk – and possibly extinction.

People are paying as much as $10,000 for cubs. There has also been an increasing demand for cheetah-skin shoes.

Many of these cheetah “pets” have been illegally smuggled into the country from Somalia. Up to 70% of the cubs die before reaching the Middle East.

There are currently less than 10,000 cheetahs living in the wild – a 90% decline in population over the past 100 years.

Sources:
Extinction fears rise as cheetah becomes new luxury pet in Middle East” (Delhi Daily News)
Cheetah smuggling driving wild population to extinction, report says” (The Guardian)

 

 

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